The Montana Supreme Court on Monday reversed a judge’s decision that the city of Billings pay $2.7 million to police officers as part of a lawsuit over their contract with the city.  The Billings Gazette reports that, in a 5-2 decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that language in collective bargaining agreements between Billings Police Department officers and the city of Billings were not as clear as a lower court had determined, when awarding a judgement of back payment to officers.

Justice Jim Rice wrote the majority opinion, stating that District Judge Brenda Gilbert’s conclusions failed to consider all available evidence when she ordered the city of Billings to pay, and that the contract language could be interpreted more than one way depending on what evidence is considered.  Twenty-eight Billings Police officers first filed the lawsuit in 2009.

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